Party like it’s 1992

Monthly numbers are out, and they’re… shall we say… aggressive.   There were 772 sales in February, which is more than we saw throughout the hot markets in the early 2000s, and in fact an extremely close second to the 780 from February 1992 when they were giving out leaky condos in exchange for Thrifty’s stamps.

Taking a look at the market conditions for as many Februaries as we have data for, we can see that inventory is low (but has been lower), new listings are middle of the road, and sales are at record levels.

All that means that market conditions are very tight, with months of inventory under 3.

This means pressure is increasing on prices.  With these market conditions, prices are only going in one direction, and sure enough, the trend towards increasing prices continues unabated.  More detail on the month coming soon.

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Also as you may have noticed, we have two advertisers joining us on the site (why ads?).  Thank you to Marko and Mike for supporting the site, I truly believe they both offer a great service if you’re in the market.

Update:  RBC has released their Q4 2015 affordability report, and it has a nifty new chart comparing major markets across the country.   More or less matches up with the data I’ve been looking at and shows affordability above the long term average in Victoria, but thanks to low interest rates we are still well below historical highs.  No surprise, Vancouver is pure insanity, requiring a hilarious 109% of the median income to afford a detached house.

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160 thoughts on “Party like it’s 1992

  1. The situation on the ground as witness this weekend is absolutely beyond chaotic.

    Mon Mar 7, 2016 8:25am:

    Mar Mar
    2016 2015
    Net Unconditional Sales: 193 734
    New Listings: 304 1,448
    Active Listings: 2,564 3,769

    Please Note
    Left Column: stats so far this month
    Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

  2. Also yes a lot of socialist/communist type thinking here.

    Next time you visit a doctor, drive on a public road, take the ferry to Vancouver, drink tap water, or even flush the toilet – these are all a result of socialist (state-owned and managed) policies. Communism is quite different than socialism. I have yet to see anything vaguely communist on this blog!

    From what I’ve observed, you are promoting a free market economy, not explicitly capitalism.

  3. It was a nightmare for them and a number of years to resolve…. They are fine and have done well with their multiple real estate holdings. My point is property is also a liability. Simply piling up a highly leveraged collection of property has risks beyond the basic financial ones of the market, rates and your own personal income stability.

  4. The rich owners you are renting from probably are up island building a brand new home where the older one that got burnt down is… Why feel happy nice people’s house got burned down?

    Also yes a lot of socialist/communist type thinking here.

    “Follow the normal route and live in fear, never take risk, and I will be rewarded somehow”

    “I hate those people that did what they wanted legally and are doing well, hate them because I wish I had the guts to go for it also”

  5. I hear you Nan, I don’t have such a socialist perspective. I still see it as extreme though. I agree there seems to be a lack of perspective. I have no safety net and a six year old. I nkeed to get wealthy to enjoy my life now but also to cover my ass just in case injury or illness hits. I however know what it’s like to get burned (Yes yes Seadrill) I’ve felt the bank turn on a dime, I’ve had misfortune. As such I would rather keep enough equity so I can be debt free, not keep just enough to keep borrowing! Shit, I believe rates will be low for some time still but not forever!

    Interesting note, the house we are renting come April is very nice, almost worth just staying there! Anyway the owners have a few properties. They told me about a place they bought up island with the intent to live there. Plans changed so they had a management company rent it out. Turns out it was to junkies who burned the place down…. Made me feel better about trimming my RE position….

  6. “There is no sense of reality in your posts”

    This is what I mean- people who literally make ridiculous, unreal decisions haven’t been punished in 20 years. It seems unreal to you but if she’s 33, she was like 17 in 2000. The math doesn’t make sense to you but she has Zero context of what a correction feels like and should have been punished in 2008. But she wasn’t and now she’s rich.

    And owning 5 houses is greedy. Bidding up housing with free equity you made by gambling on housing only to keep that housing from families who just want a home and call it an investment is dubiously ethical at best. Owning a house is an important thing for many people and every house owned by a speculator is a house not owned by a working family. The banking mechanics that make this possible are irrelevant and just because you can doesn’t make it right, totoro.

    the problem here is that In the past where a wealthy family might have owned a house or two and a condo somewhere was ok- they were outliers and the behaviour wasn’t materially damaging to society. But now, the Cmhc has broken the system to the point where average earning folks in their mid thirties can get their grubby hooks into 5-10 houses. No matter how you look at it, This keeps more working families out of housing ownership positions and that hurts them.

    Ordinarily I am pretty capitalist but when you can do something that negatively affects the foundation on which that capitalism exists it should probably be regulated.

    And don’t tell me there’s no difference between renting and owning. Once kids are in the picture, there is a HUGE difference.

  7. Changing careers every four years? But you are running a small business and it took you seven years of university just to become a decorator! Doesn’t add up. Neither does your binge on as much debt as possible to get rich quick advice…. Sounds to me like like you have the safety net of wealthy parents and a wealthy hubby. There is no sense of reality in your posts.

  8. Agree w hawk again 😉

    I said I want to “retire” at 60, which Totoro said was old…

    I don’t view my job as a chore, and I expect to change what I do 5-7 times in the next 27-30 years.

    I think the term retirement is a trap, and should not be the focus of life. Life is better when you are young so enjoy it now… Save up for being sick and stuck at home at 65-70. Saving money buys you sick time with less stress when you are old pretty much.

  9. Maybe you can be a blogger when you retire in your 40’s, that will help kill time. It’s called purpose in life, you can only golf, vacation, shop at Red Barn, etc for so long til your normal human desire to do something of value and a reason to get up in the morning kicks in. Puttering around gets extremely boring after a awhile.

  10. Leo S.

    I would “free up” $20 if I had to. My entire get rich quick focus is 100% leverage 100% of the time!!

    You really do not understand… It’s so funny seeing in the box thinking not “getting” it.

    We have this amazing privilege to borrow money for cheap and leverage up to 1m TAX FREE… And the market is HOT.

    What I don’t get is most on this blog could do this and be very wealthy by now, but no… “Borrowing to buy a car means you are poor”

    Classic in the box thinking… I bet most here have a degree also and work 9-5.

    Oh and banks will lend multiple times no issue if you have high equity in existing homes and a history w the bank. I keep exactly the equity needed to get that next loan.

    By cashing out one lucrative house this week, I will try to buy 2 more houses that I think are very undervalued and just sitting there not sold. Some paint and carpet, rent for a couple years, sell.

  11. Anyone I know who retired mid 50’s is bored out of their skull

    The trick is not to be boring.

    The (85k) car loan frees up that money to leverage up and buy a house

    Funny how concerned you are about freeing up the money by financing the car, while claiming to have 60% equity in millions of dollars of real estate.

  12. Totoro:

    Those are valid points, and more like Econ 101 😉

    No offence, but those are literally basic basic “how to get rich” talking points.

    They work if you are a regular wage earner.

    For me it’s

    Time is money

    The (85k) car loan frees up that money to leverage up and buy a house.

    The house I bought using leveraged money has WAY MORE then paid for the new dream car.

    Time is money, money is creativity.

    It’s 5:45am, off to go flip one of my houses, I’m pretty sure it will be featured in Markos “over ask of the day”

  13. I don’t know about being bored – haven’t been to date in life and don’t expect that to change. And the money thing in retirement is just math and working out the variables. Many people do retire early – even in their 30s and they seem to be pretty happy. Lots of blogs on this.

  14. Must be nice to have $2 million to flip a house within a year is more lIke it. Sounds like they never even lived in it long enough to enjoy it and maybe didn’t like the endless traffic.

  15. Retiring at 60 is late? You have no idea , wait til you get to your 50’s. Anyone I know who retired mid 50’s is bored out of their skull and isnt as rich as they thought they would be and regret retiring so soon. Unless you plan to croak when your 62, Freedom 55 is a myth for most.

  16. A couple mil is not rich these days anyways, I want to be able to retire at 60… Need much more then that.

    My take is a couple of million is pretty good. Also, retiring at 60 is pretty late.

    And that new car at 0% financing may not be the wise financial decision you think it is. On average, a new car will lose 60 percent of its total value over the first five years of its life. Not to mention extended warranties are a very good deal either – google the research on it.

    Now if you are telling me you want to keep your 30k for investments and you can make more than the 18k in depreciation on it in five years then I’d agree it might be a good financial idea. Unlikely to work out this way most of the time, but in an up housing market it might.

    If you are financing a car and you are drawing an entry level government salary your debt service ratio would not normally support the purchase of multi-million dollars of properties. I think this does not matter except that you are presenting a “winner/loser” story and painting yourself a winner.

    If you did not do this on your own this perhaps explains why you might not understand how difficult it is for many people to even enter the market here. And if you did not do it on your own my view would be you should acknowledge your privilege rather than flaunt your sense of superiority.

    Finally, to nan, it does not seem greedy to me that a 33 year old would have five houses – it seems highly unusual. It takes equity and credit to do that. Very few 33 year olds in this position but if they are it is just another investment decision imo. You chose equities, they chose houses. CMHC may provide insurance but there are still qualification rules and the default rate is low.

  17. 430 Beach purchased March 4th, 2015 after 227 days on market for $1,875,000.

    Re-sold today, March 3rd, 2016 for $2,298,888 (asking price). Vancouver buyer, even brought over a Vancouver REALTOR® to represent 🙂

    Must be nice to pocket 300k+ tax free after enjoying a nice home for a year.

  18. @ totoro- would you say it’s even slightly more broken than it was 15 years ago? I would.

    What broken system? Seems to be okay to me. I think you’ve lost sight of the long dark teatime between the last bump up in prices and now.

    Don’t let Victoria Vv get to you. Something does not add up with the story. Oh well, it is the internet after all.

    I’d say bow out of the competition because it is like magic, if you don’t believe it is not real. You are doing just fine nan. The “system” is fine too, just carry on.

    As for cashing out, why on earth would I do that? I too will just carry on. I’m already living a pretty great life, can’t really imagine that millions more would make it better. We have enough.

  19. All the recent trolling on HHV about your massive personal wealth and or earning power is totally totally lame. Reminds me of grade school – “My Dad makes more than your Dad!”

    Boasting about your wealth is totally lame at the best of times, but never more so than when done anonymously and unverifiably on the internet.

    For all you know my massive wealth and real estate holdings dwarfs all your puny collections of assets; or more likely I could be a balding 40 something ne’er-do-well living in his Mom’s basement and counting the days till I get the inheritance.

  20. I’m with some of the other posters. Somewhere between a double and a triple would probably be enough to make me uproot and move – probably to the Comox Valley

  21. It seems this is a theme… I’ve already got the blog prepped for that new phase of life.

    Good work, Leo. Can’t wait to transition my trolling of this blog to that one.

    Or maybe, by then, I’ll be less of a troll and more of a garden gnome.

  22. If all goes well, in ten years commutes will become easier, faster, and more safe. Anyone agree that could put a downward pressure on the areas that are now sizzling?

    No.

    First, everyone drastically overestimates the takeover of new technologies (e.g., five years ago we were told that everyone would be reading books on tablets and the printed book would be dead).

    Second, quiet neighbourhoods with big trees, schools within walking distance, lots of parks, that are closer to the ocean and to downtown will always be (more) desirable.

  23. What’s almost never discussed about a city of retirees is that you need a constant and larger than normal influx of buyers to compensate for the large number of people that are dying off.

  24. A tripling and I would almost certainly cash out, retire and probably move up Island. And there would be lots of puttering.

    It seems this is a theme… I’ve already got the blog prepped for that new phase of life.

    Note to self: Don’t do a google image search for “puttering around”

  25. It’s only relatively safe because we live here. If this blog was in Montreal or Ottawa of St. Johns we would be saying the same thing because we have a personal bias. We try to find the thing that makes us different and wrap that blanket of security around ourselves from the cold world of economics. In Calgary it was oil, in Victoria it’s retirees, in Ottawa it’s being the capital, in Vancouver it’s foreign money, in Toronto it’s being self absorbed twats.

    Are retirees a stabilizing force to home prices? Only if you believe that those that are sitting in their homes and watching Netflix have some influence over prices. Well most don’t. The marketplace is not ALL housing it only comprises homes that are listed for sale and those people actively searching for a home. And that typically is only 3, 4 or 5 per cent of the total inventory of properties at any time. Retirees have no effect on prices unless they are buying or selling.

    The cities that were hit the hardest in the US correction where retirement cities because it is jobs and an expanding economy that made it possible for people to buy homes. Retirees will just have to go along for the bus ride like most of the rest of us. We can decide when to get on or off, but we can’t tell the bus driver where to go.

  26. This a bit of a tangent, but the mention of “future technologies” in a previous post got me thinking about self-driving cars and the effect on the premium prices houses in central areas now command. If all goes well, in ten years commutes will become easier, faster, and more safe. Anyone agree that could put a downward pressure on the areas that are now sizzling?

  27. To answer my own question, a doubling of my property’s value would cause me to start considering some options (might sell; might not). A tripling and I would almost certainly cash out, retire and probably move up Island. And there would be lots of puttering.

  28. Yes, income to price ratio here is totally slanted because people are on fixed (smaller) incomes.

    I keep most profits in Corp, on paper my income is entry level government level.

  29. @JustJack: income to price ratio is deceiving as many in Victoria are retired, etc. Lots of homes are cash purchases. I strongly agree housing is overvalued but Victoria is relatively safe compared to other cities in Canada.

    Regarding genome mapping stocks, there is massive potential in future technologies that revolutionize the world. However, no one knows the optimal investment vehicle to use. I’d say the best bet are ETFs because individual companies are too risky & unpredictable.

  30. Vicinvestor,
    Agreed bubbles can go on a long time and this may take til next winter to play out as it looks and feels identical to 2007 when the stock markets sounded the warning but took til 2008 to play out.

    Van’s chart started a long time back and Victoria is just riding the blow off top coat tails of hot money. Just because a few more are selling there and buying here has no guarantee it will be some security blanket.

    No one protected Victoria in 1981 when houses sold off here for 50%. No one loaded up the next day because lending rules tightened like a clamp. People don’t get that part when the say I’ll just buy two more if they crash. Good luck when CMHC shuts down as well or jacks up rates 2 points as they did in 80’s.

    Every bubble pop has a catalyst and I believe the credit cycle will be it. That’s what caused this and what will end it. It’s a global phenom that is coming to and end.,the data shows it.

    How it finally pushes easy credit to its inevitable end is yet to be determined but it will be some form of combo of a global event. Personal debt levels cannot continue well past US levels where their market crashed. It’s basic economics.

  31. I understand what you’re trying to say VicInvestor1983. That because we haven’t had the rise in prices like Vancouver our market must be safe.

    But that same logic would make Duncan, Sooke and the Gulf Islands safer than Victoria as the prices in those areas have been flat longer than Victoria. I doubt you are going to get many on this board agreeing with that assumption.

    The fact is we are all in the same boat. As of the 4th quarter of 2015, It takes 52.3% of the average household income to afford the cost of a single family home in Greater Victoria. And what has happened this quarter has pushed that percentage higher.

    So, a better analogy might be to say that we are less pregnant than Vancouver. But one day this baby is going to be born. What you should be thinking about is how to be less exposed to the inevitable downturn.

    And speaking about diversifying. Anyone have any thoughts about genome mapping stocks?

  32. Here’s a question for the owners out there, what kind of short- to medium-term price appreciation would persuade you to sell your primary residence and cash out?

    Good question. My first instinct is I wouldn’t cash out no matter the appreciation but that’s not true. If the house tripled in value I would sell it, quit my job, and move out of Victoria.

  33. Here’s a question for the owners out there, what kind of short- to medium-term price appreciation would persuade you to sell your primary residence and cash out?

    Primary residence would need to go to triple to well over three million. At that point I would sell, pack my bags, and move back to Croatia to putter around.

    I would cash out of my investment properties if it got to the point where I could keep half of properties and the ones being cashed out would pay off my principal residence off.

    Not really close to either happening :):)

  34. about 50% of HHV visitors are renting. Another 15% have no mortgage, leaving about 35% paying a mortgage. Who are that other 65%?!

    What do you mean who the other 65%? Why can’t a large institutional well-paying job person in government be renting?

  35. @Hawk: I agree with you that Vancouver is in a housing bubble based on fundamentals. However, it’s very hard to predict these things. Bubbles can go on for years. Even if Vancouver dropped 50%, we get back to 2 years ago. It will burn who bought recently & are overleveraged. Victoria, however, is a different market. Prices have only recently begun to appreciate. We’ve been < inflation since 2006; that makes me feel much safer.

    No one can predict the market. You must decide for yourself your risk tolerance & be prudent with your decisions. Check out this book on power of predictions: http://www.amazon.com/Future-Babble-Expert-Predictions-Believe-ebook/dp/B00457X8JO

  36. I have a good idea of the demographics of the blog and it isn’t wealthy people. I would say the largest segment of the blog viewership is large institutional well-paying jobs whether it be government, quasi-private, or corporations.

    You’ve just described the “average” mortgage-paying resident in Greater Victoria. I’m sure some of them visit this blog, but according to the results of the poll I conducted in May 2015, about 50% of HHV visitors are renting. Another 15% have no mortgage, leaving about 35% paying a mortgage. Who are that other 65%?!

  37. Here’s a question for the owners out there, what kind of short- to medium-term price appreciation would persuade you to sell your primary residence and cash out?

    I don’t think that I would ever “cash out”. If prices were to drop, then I might keep my current house (to rent out) and buy a second home. If prices continue to increase, then I might sell my current house as use it to pay for the majority of a nicer house. I paid off my mortgage a year ago. With the improved cash flow, I’m paying for house renovations and in the future will save more towards investments, vacations, etc.

  38. “Here’s a question for the owners out there, what kind of short- to medium-term price appreciation would persuade you to sell your primary residence and cash out?”

    …and how old are you?

  39. I sold because I’m buying so for me it was convenience that tipped the scales. Couldn’t move back in anyway because their lease, extremely low effort and stress and plenty of appreciation to make me comfortable with the sale. If I was comfortable with more debt and responsibility I simply wouldn’t sell. Two houses is enough for me. Would rather be in the stock market. And Seadrill is on the rise!!!

  40. For us, cashing out in next seven years would require renting a house near my kid’s school, as she has ties there I wouldn’t want to break. Given the difficulty of finding and keeping a good quality rental house in Victoria, the short-term appreciation would have to be crazy-high to justify that. Point Grey buyers would look at us and say “how risky, how foolish.”

    In the medium term, however, it wouldn’t take much appreciation at all. I’d be happy to head somewhere more rural once we can semi-retire. Assuming Sooke and Cowichan haven’t made huge relative gains on Victoria, we’d just pocket whatever difference exists between the two.

  41. Here’s a question for the owners out there, what kind of short- to medium-term price appreciation would persuade you to sell your primary residence and cash out?

  42. The blog has taken a catty turn. How exciting!

    Also, a message to Nan: paragraphs — please use them.

  43. Going to school for 7 years to become a decorator seems a bit much. But anyway, it’s BS like this that always gets me: “Victoria is the next wealth retreat for global buyers…”

    Victoria is a pleasant seaside town of about 300,000. It is, first and foremost, a government town. And that is a good thing – it provides stable, well-paid employment for a lot of folks, and is the reason that median family income is substantially higher in Victoria than in Vancouver. It is also a place where people like to retire. These two factors alone I would think, support our house prices, and also insulate Victoria from major price corrections, as demand should not collapse, unless government takes the unusual step of firing a bunch of people. It also means that Victoria does not need to try and be Vancouver. We have a reason for being, thanks.

    I’m sure it is no coincidence that in the last run up, government was on a hiring binge, and signing collective bargaining agreements with significant wage increases. During the flat years following the recession, government switched to hiring restraint. Now, we are seeing government hiring again. In fact, I can recall last year that there was a backlog at HR to post positions because there were so many. Now we see house prices moving higher. The only time the market truly tanked here (after the early 80s recession), the government sacked a whole bunch of bureaucrats. Coupled with sky high interest rates, it’s no surprise that prices collapsed.

    This seems to be a predominantly local market, and the statistics would back that up. Renewed government hiring and absurdly low interest rates should support higher house prices. Having said that, without further wage growth (and wage growth for unionized public sector workers is locked in for the next several years below inflation), I don’t see this going on too long, and I don’t see a doubling of house prices here, contrary to what some other posters believe. I think you will see more modest house price growth once this little party is over.

    What is happening in Vancouver is nothing new. In the 80s, it was the Hong Kong Chinese buying up property and everyone cried foul. Now it is the mainland Chinese, and the same is happening. It did not happen here in the same way.

    Vancouver, has also always been a destination for immigrants. Victoria, by virtue of its small size, and the inconvenience of being on an Island, with an International (private!) Airport with limited service, is not. We get immigrants, but it ain’t close. I cannot foresee this changing, and Victoria somehow becoming a retreat for wealthy sheikhs and factory owners from China.

  44. Reason,
    I have friends in Fairfield and it’s been going on for ages. The neighborhood watch put out notices awhile back as they were indeed going into backyards etc pilfering and was a couple of B&E’s as well. It’s everywhere, even in poshy Oak Bay.

  45. “would you say it’s even slightly more broken than it was 15 years ago? ”

    Absolutely. They haven’t even cleaned up the mess from 2008 yet and kicked the can down the road multiple times. Yes it doesn’t seem fair that our own government for political purposes saved the banks who should have called in many of those mortgages that were negative equity and passed them on to us taxpayers then continued to max that whole CMHC system out. We should have had a 30% correction like the US did, and all it has done is build up the pile of personal debt levels to historic levels.

    We have financial markets entering bear markets, emerging markets tanking, China slowly collapsing as they lie about the real numbers thus get their credit downgraded to negative, and gold on the rise.

    The world is entering a global recession but because real estate flippers and HAM money pours in, the blinders are on. Our BC GDP relies heavily on housing and Christy and her crew have no plans to upset the governments books on the billions in transfer taxes. When that eventually stops then what ? This is nearing the end of the easy credit cycle of the past 15 years but no one wants to admit it.

    There will be no life jackets from Justin, as what taxpayer is going to want to see someone who maxed out their leverage based on greed get bailed out ?

  46. As police reports came up recently…third time, THIRD time, we have had stuff stolen from around the house in Fairfield last night. And it was my kid’s hobby rock polisher that we had on the back deck (a little noisy so we keep it outside). My neighbour had his electric skooter stolen too. F&^k.

  47. “I’m gonna keep myself diversified but I’m about to get into RE into a big way in Victoria (>1.5 million) as I don’t see a huge downside risk. ”

    Guess they don’t teach chart reading in decorating school, nor US housing history from 2005.

    Famous last words.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW5qKYfqALE

  48. @Nan: you’re dead on. I know family members who are 100% RE & have gotten away with massive leveraging. My own parents tell me that I’m ‘stupid’ & should get into RE. They’ve made much more $$ off housing than their lifetime incomes. RE prices in Vancouver are way off fundamentals but they keep rising. Victoria is more reasonable. I’m gonna keep myself diversified but I’m about to get into RE into a big way in Victoria (>1.5 million) as I don’t see a huge downside risk. But l also have a healthy income with a mortgage:gross income 3-4:1, at those prices. I would never do it if I didn’t have the income.

  49. @ totoro- would you say it’s even slightly more broken than it was 15 years ago? I would. Efficient systems reward risk to a certain point but beyond that, punish for being greedy. It is important that this happens too because wealth accumulation can’t only be driven by gambling behaviour – folks need to feel like hard work will get them ahead. no one has been punished in re for maxing out in 20 years. I.e no one has lost a bet in that long. I talk to realtors regularly that tell me that is literally what most people do- go to the bank, see how much the absolute max they can get is and bid that around until they get a house. I mean a 33 year old with 5 houses- how is that not greedy? Or incredibly risky? And I know others like her, so she’s not the only one. The system has been so benign for so long, it looks like they’ll actually get away with too! Anyone with any market awareness would have seen the foolishness in leveraging to the max at any point over the last 10 years. No one could have foreseen back then that interest rates would have stayed so low for so long. On top of that house prices were also too high and anyone with any sense at all would not make a bet that big, yet those that did won for being either ignorant of economic reality or incredibly risk loving. Under ordinary circumstances, (no Cmhc) down payments would have been higher and interest rates higher, either keeping these people out or kicking them out when their bets failed. Except that never happened and now we have millionaire interior designers in their early 30’s who are “real estate experts” and all sorts of other “wealth accumulation”. Don’t get me wrong- I take tons of calculated risks. On top of my house, my portfolio is 100% invested in equities. Most folks look at me like I’m nuts when I tell them this but based on the available data and my age, this is the absolute best position for me to take. Also Based on the available data, no matter how I calculate it, real estate still doesn’t make sense ( and hasn’t since 2002) however, Whether victoriavv is legit or not is irrelevant because I have other acquaintances who are in similar positions. They aren’t friends anymore because I got sick of hearing their incredibly bad advice years ago. (Which incredibly for them in hindsight worked out improbably well for them, because the system is broken)

  50. We spend more time speculating about each other on this forum than we do making observations about the market.

    And that’s obviously because most HHV posters are werewolves, hungry for human flesh.

  51. “I also don’t understand the financial circumstances surrounding the initial purchase of multiple OB properties at 26? years of age after seven years of school, but most people would have neither the credit nor equity to do so at that age/stage.”

    Exactly, sounds like someone had daddy’s money and co-signing.

  52. While folks with real careers and earning power that save responsibly and have low risk tolerance have to tolerate this broken hierarchy.

    I don’t find the system to be broken. I wouldn’t characterize people like this either. I would say people here in Canada have freedom to choose and make decisions and that if you are very risk averse and focus on saving you will be fine in the end. The fact that others out there took on risk to end up earning more means they gave up the security you have to do so. The fact that it may have paid off in house appreciation is fine, predictable even, but it did not come without its own costs in the form of interim risk.

    In my experience saving carefully from a career will get you ahead but you do need to invest to get ahead more quickly than that. Some tolerance for risk will likely help you move forward faster, but it can also leave you much further behind.

    As for Vv, yes, much of what she says comes across as bragging and ego-driven and she appears to believe she is in a competition or sorts where she is better than others or earns much more despite having no way of knowing what posters financial circumstances or incomes are unless she knows them personally.

    I also don’t understand the financial circumstances surrounding the initial purchase of multiple OB properties at 26? years of age after seven years of school, but most people would have neither the credit nor equity to do so at that age/stage. In any event, it doesn’t much matter to me. I get to live with my choices, like paying more for the security of a fixed interest rate, and that is fine. I’m happy if someone else benefited from variable rates – they paid the risk price.

  53. Dave Chard did it with “the 834” in 2009…….as I recall I remember buying a pre-sale and a number of individuals on the blogging predicting it would never get out of the ground.

  54. People in business, such as developers, need to take a lot of risk and need to stay optimistic to succeed; therefore, you won’t find too many of those on this blog either.

    That must be why there were no condo starts between November 2008 and August 2009. All those risk taking, positive looking developers saw right through the financial crisis and kept building 🙂

  55. I guarantee you there are a lot of wealthy people on this blog, I know one other poster in real life and he does very well.

    I have a good idea of the demographics of the blog and it isn’t wealthy people. I would say the largest segment of the blog viewership is large institutional well-paying jobs whether it be government, quasi-private, or corporations. While most people have well-paying jobs they are capped at +/- inflation and risk adverse; therefore, the debate of whether housing is overpriced or not. Wealthy people are not going to moan about real estate prices because they probably already hold quite a bit of real estate.

    People in business, such as developers, need to take a lot of risk and need to stay optimistic to succeed; therefore, you won’t find too many of those on this blog either.

  56. Leo S, what are the unique viewers on this blog like, any uptick since the “surge”?

    We don’t have a lot of comparison (no stats from this time last year) but it does seem like traffic follows market activity to a certain extent. Less in December, more now. Jan was 2100 users and 20,000 page views. Feb was 2400 users and 27,000 page views.
    For reference: July 2015 was 1700 users and 14,000 page views.

    Stat of the day: 5 people tried to visit bitter-angry-renters.com today. Maybe I should register that site too.

  57. Leo S, what are the unique viewers on this blog like, any uptick since the “surge”?

    I’m guessing a lot of potential buyers Come here and listen to the stats.

  58. Agreed LeoS, needing to repeat ad nauseum about ones recent wealth down to the decimal point is extremely lame. I’m having a vision of
    Mr. Burns in drag. 😉

  59. GT is just another take on things from an infotainment writer. He does have good points and deserves respect, even if it’s just for his staying power. I mean wow! At least he might be getting his correction in Calgary. But that won’t count. Only TO counts….

  60. @nan, I have around 60% untapped equity in each property (which is cash flow positive).

    Only reason financed at 0% is opportunity cost on my cash. Not needed. Having 7 year warrenty = no downtime or surprises. Car was bought at excellent price.

  61. I make substantially more than the top end mentioned in that designer salary article. @victoriavv even if you make 2-3x the top end in that article, you maybe underestimating the risk you are bearing even more than I thought. Was there a finance portion of your interior design program? I doubt it, but you probably don’t care-
    You’re richer than you think!

  62. I guarantee you there are a lot of wealthy people on this blog, I know one other poster in real life and he does very well.

    A couple mil is not rich these days anyways, I want to be able to retire at 60… Need much more then that.

  63. he discovered another lucrative source of income, rabid Bears that hang out on his website ranting and raving and making him a LOT of Adsense money. Bears are notorious Ad Clickers. They also buy his e-books and go to his live shows to rant and rave with the other 45-58 year old devorced men with beards.

    I’m no fan of Garth, but
    1. He has no ads on his site. He did a few years ago but removed them.
    2. He hasn’t written a book in years.
    3. The one live “show” I went to years back where he spoke was free.

    I’m pretty sure he makes money from recruiting people into his investment management firm. And he probably just enjoys the huge audience for his writing.

  64. Sounds like the decorating business is slow these days….and I thought VV was a retired sailor. ; )

  65. It totally pisses me off. Doesn’t listening to VictoriaVv piss you off? it pisses me off that some of my friends are doing better than me because they were superficial enough to buy big houses they couldn’t afford but have been rewarded for that.

    Meh. Perhaps a bit. But would I want to have bought a 900k house in 2013? Nope. Maybe in the end the guy that bought the 900k house is further ahead, but he’s also taking a risk I’m not willing to take. I’ve got a completely different set of goals, and it doesn’t involve driving a brand new car bought on 0% financing, nor does it involve living in the uplands.

    VictoriaVV is here to brag and bait bears. Maybe what he says is the truth, maybe he’s here to troll, we’ll never know. Either way is fine with me. But if I find myself owning so many millions of dollars of real estate that I’m “up 1.2 million” in a couple years, and I have nothing better to do with my time than troll on websites, I will know that I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.

  66. Garth Turner doesn’t really believe in a market correction, he discovered another lucrative source of income, rabid Bears that hang out on his website ranting and raving and making him a LOT of Adsense money. Bears are notorious Ad Clickers.

    They also buy his e-books and go to his live shows to rant and rave with the other 45-58 year old fat divorced men with beards and tucked in Sears dress shirts their moms gave them 12 years ago. White guy baggy jeans and square toe black dress shoes.

    Did you know Garth owns 7 houses?

  67. Dasmo, dasmo, you haven’t been into a nice house or business have you?

    We do complex renderings, 3D modelling, blueprints, we work with developers and have a solid understanding of all building codes, etc etc

    Build custom “anything”.

  68. I was one of the defenders of Oaklands, not Leo.

    And despite the rampant crime here, not one egg has hit the house to date 😉

  69. Awe thanks Nan, appreciate that 🙂

    Yes think of me as a devils advocate, nailing the truth…

    And yes, became multi millionaire very easily not working, and drive a brand new car (0% financing, 7 year full warrenty), and live in a super nice house in central Oak Bay.

    It’s all about figuring out the system, find out where the sheep are going to go and get there first, but in my case, I found out where the Sharks wanted to be and got their first and made them pay for it.

    I’ve been on and off this blog predicting average house prices way above what everyone here guessed, am always right… Why? Because Victoria is the next wealth retreat for global buyers… So get in while you can and make em pay… And who knows, get rich as well.

    I’m not a guy either btw, 33 year old interior designer here… I get full discounts on all my nice house stuff.

  70. It totally pisses me off. Doesn’t listening to VictoriaVv piss you off?
    Who knows what he does for a living but because he’s unruffled by the risk in the world, hes accepting potentially crippling interest rate risk but he’s accumulating equity, he’s bragging, telling people how the system works and they listen, probably driving a nice car and living in a nice house. He gets all the superficial parts of having money without having to earn any. While folks with real careers and earning power that save responsibly and have low risk tolerance have to tolerate this broken hierarchy. the problem is that he’s right- it pisses me off that some of my friends are doing better than me because they were superficial enough to buy big houses they couldn’t afford but have been rewarded for that.

  71. Risk is absolutely not always reward. The higher the risk the greater the potential positive AND negative. Many techniques are used to manage risk including research and analysis but in the housing market you cannot predict beyond a few months well imo – only that long-term you will likely benefit from appreciation in the core of Victoria with a SFH if you can hold through a down cycle. As stated before, having to sell for some reason during a down cycle can be catastrophic.

  72. I was shopping in 2011-12 and no one was buying. I had no competition for a nice little Fairfield shack.

    Yep. 2013 when we bought there wasn’t a soul interested in the house. After it had already been listed for weeks and had dropped in price my wife suggested we take a look at it. Then we took our sweet time with a couple inspections and some back and forth. And that was a reasonably renovated place with a complete 2BR suite. In retrospect it was a good deal, but at the time no one else thought so.

  73. You mentioned your oak lands area was safe after I said it had petty crime

    I live in Oaklands? That’s news to me. Time to pay better attention to who is writing posts. You are getting really confused.

  74. That’s not how it works Hawk. Sales beget sales. People want what other people want. Like you said, sheep. So the recent activity is only going to bring more buyers out. I was shopping in 2011-12 and no one was buying. I had no competition for a nice little Fairfield shack. the big difference between then and now? Their are more buyers….

  75. My house has never been egged but I don’t think that 3x at Halloween each year means anything except Leo lives in a neighbourhood with a lot of teenagers. My neighbourhood probably has fewer teens and more police with less to do with their time.

  76. Old folks that lost their homes in 80-81 are most likely the bears on this blog.

    Leo, risk is reward, when I say risk, it’s a positive thing.

    You mentioned your oak lands area was safe after I said it had petty crime, but then a few posts later you said your house was egged 3 times in 3 years???

  77. Too funny Jack and so true. I’m thinking this media push is going to scare off a lot of potential buyers.Who in their right mind would say : “Hey honey, let’s move to Victoria and stand in line with 100 other sheep, then get pissed off getting outbid by $150K” …over and over and over. Sounds like a sick form of sado masochism to me.

    There isn’t any charts to define any of this. Its all psychological and is being dominated by the One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest crowd with money (and easy credit) burning a hole in their Calvin Kleins and it’s not even officially spring.

  78. How far back do you go to find your “historical medium” … 1980-81? During the past 25 years, inflation-adjusted prices peaked in 2010 … to (apparently) be surpassed in 2016.

  79. VictoriaVV at 6:36PM: “your friends took a risk and bought a nice big house”
    VictoriaVV at 7:17PM: “Leo S, I don’t get it, you’re now saying people who buy houses with 20% down are high flying risk takers?”

    Are you arguing against yourself now?

    Most people don’t spend estimated house gains for fun, look at the data on that.

    I have. An absolutely astonishing amount of equity is extracted for things like debt consolidation (read “folding consumer debt into your mortgage”), renovations (most of which don’t pay for themselves), and consumer spending.

  80. DavidL, oops my bad, 6 months ago prices were exact same as 2007 prices…

    My point is that prices have a loooong way to go upwards to have any historical gain back to historical medium.

  81. @VictoriaVv

    We had literally a decade, like 10 YEARS of zero growth. Adjusted for inflation, we are down 28% … If prices go up a solid 15% this year, this “surge” (that really just started) will push prices back to 2007 range (adjusted for inflation).

    I’m not sure where you are getting you numbers from, but this chart that I put together last summer (based on VREB and Bank of Canada data) shows that by June 2015, we had surpassed that inflation-adjusted 2007 price. Prices peaked in 2010, but I suspect that in the past six months we have reached a new high. Maybe it’s time to update this chart? 😉

    ?w=911″ alt=”Average Annual SFH Price and Monthly Payments 2000-2015″ />

  82. Except it rarely works out that way. The people that are very easy going about housing debt are the same ones that are easy going about all sorts of debt. Might as well withdraw some of that free equity you “earned” last year to replace the car. Might as well upgrade the kitchen and go to Hawaii. After all the house appreciated by $100k so we can treat ourselves and spend $50k.
    Meanwhile it costs twice as much property tax, twice as much transaction and PTT when you buy or sell it, and you spend more to keep up with the neighbourhood.
    It is the rare exception that leverages to the max as a calculated approach to take advantage of higher appreciation, and then get out at the top and take the gain.

  83. @bizsnitch hahaha, you think only way to extract equity is via selling?

    There is equity extracting to buy another home, then renting out current one, there is many, many ways to leverage equity gains.

    I’ll definitely take my 1.2m+ in gains over your rental life any day.

    Leo S, I don’t get it, you’re now saying people who buy houses with 20% down are high flying risk takers?

    Most people don’t spend estimated house gains for fun, look at the data on that.

  84. VictoriaVv: They’ll only max out that tfsa if they sell. Otherwise, their gains mean nothing. You’re dreaming some more.

  85. Pissed that your friends took a risk and bought a nice big house in the best areas, and now they are sitting on massive gains, potentially hundreds of thousands in gains, which would easily help max out tfsa 😉

  86. And it pisses me off, since I am conservative and I need to earn 2x what my risk loving friend needs to earn to live with the same debt load. The end result is that my house is nice because I make good money but not that nice since I like to max out my RRSP/ TFSA/ RESP

    It pisses you off that you’re fiscally prudent? That’s odd. Just think, when you’re ready to retire they’ll still be paying off that massive, mostly unproductive asset. While you’re OK driving around in a Toyota they will need to drop $80k on an X5 to fit in while dropping the kids off at school.

  87. Our affordability here is almost the best in history.

    Clearly not, see graph above from RBC. We are less affordable than the historical range.

    I personally know 2 Vancouver retirees that bough houses here this feb. and I’m not a super social person or even know more then 4-5 people in Vancouver via friends family.

    A number of our friends bought in 2015 and 2016. And it seems so did half the readers of this blog. It’s still locals driving the market.

  88. Not saying crash or correction as I think I capitulated about a year ago when I agreed that Victoria had underperformed for long enough to reduce those risks…but the surge is of limited duration.

    Agree 100%. We are in for a year or two of very strong performance, but I don’t see a doubling of prices like we saw in the 2000s. Rates aren’t going to get much lower, so affordability will very quickly deteriorate at these rates of price appreciation. If there’s one pattern in Victoria real estate it’s affordability, and when it gets very high/unaffordable it is going to decline again quickly.

    Why do you think it will only last a little while?? Where is the data?? Or is it just this belief that Victoria is not that great or important enough?

    As above. There are only two options:

    1. Prices appreciate until locals can’t afford to buy, then prices moderate.
    2. Victoria is overrun with wealthy outside buyers and prices completely unhinge from any local fundamentals. This might happen, but so far the evidence is limited that it is (vast majority of buyers are still local).
  89. @CS Here is a graph for you.

    2007 _______________________– 2016

    Up 12% only in the last few months… “Bulls” are not saying it’s never a top, it’s just we are still below 2007 prices adjusted for inflation, we are near 2005 prices still if you apply inflation adjustment.

    Do you know what inflation is?

  90. Another sign of a top when the bulls get hyper-sensitive to any market top talk. Can the bulls honestly say with a straight face this is normal buying behavior the last while ? It is unprecedented in Victoria history and it will not end well.

    I don’t know whether Victoria RE is near a market top (and despite what they say, here, neither do the bulls), although it must be nearer the next top than it was yesterday, but the ridicule heaped by the bulls on anyone questioning their “sky’s the limit” meme seems explicable only as market boosting hype of no intellectual value whatever.

  91. “It’s a mortgage slush fund that distorts the market. It allows banks to lend recklessly without consequences and pushes up the price of housing for everyone. It rewards those willing to speculate with leverage and discriminates against those who are prudent.

    Everybody knows this. I complained for years amongst friends about the existence of the CMHC and the effect it had on my social circle – income was no longer the defining factor in consumption.

    When the CMHC rules changed in 2001 or whatever, house consumption levels quickly became based less on a couples ability to earn an outsized income and more on an outsized willingness to stomach risk and/or ignore of it. I now have friends who earn 200k combined professional incomes living in the Uplands / brand new houses in Oak Bay with 1 MM+ mortgages and feel great. I also have friends who live in other parts of Victoria who have combined incomes of $300k+ with mortgages 1/2 as much who barely feel as comfortable.

    I guess this risk acceptance mechanic has always existed but the low interest rates combined with the irrelevance of prudent saving behavior and the ability to provide a decent down payment has blown these differentials out massively. And it pisses me off, since I am conservative and I need to earn 2x what my risk loving friend needs to earn to live with the same debt load. The end result is that my house is nice because I make good money but not that nice since I like to max out my RRSP/ TFSA/ RESP, etc. and not carry a ridiculous amount of mortgage debt (over 3x annual pre tax income is ridiculous to me, even over 2x started to feel uncomfortable).

    But here’s the thing: this is the hand our generation has been dealt. I learned a few years ago that no matter how much I object to the existence of the CMHC for what I explained above, it won’t change fast enough to make a difference to me or my young family. So, I saved up, bought a house a few years ago and continue to complain about it to this day.

    The lesson I learned here was “either play the game and embrace the rules, or don’t”. If you don’t like that running is part of soccer, don’t play soccer. If you don’t like that outsized long term interest rate risk is a part of owning a decent house these days, then either make more money, save more money or don’t own a house. No standing government will ever and I mean EVER make a visible policy decision that reduces the aggregate value of real estate in Canada and no amount of complaining will convince others to do you a favor and give you a deal on a house in the current system. If you want a house, learn about who you are and what you can truly afford (emotionally, socially and on a cash flow basis), accept what you can afford and buy (or don’t).

  92. I don’t get this “this surge will only last a couple weeks-months” talk. Leo S, etc.

    Why do you think it will only last a little while?? Where is the data?? Or is it just this belief that Victoria is not that great or important enough?

    We had literally a decade, like 10 YEARS of zero growth. Adjusted for inflation, we are down 28%

    If prices go up a solid 15% this year, this “surge” (that really just started) will push prices back to 2007 range (adjusted for inflation).

    Our affordability here is almost the best in history.

    I predict a solid, solid, 50% price increase over the next 3 years, then another lull for a few years, then another big surge.

    I personally know 2 Vancouver retirees that bough houses here this feb. and I’m not a super social person or even know more then 4-5 people in Vancouver via friends family.

  93. Hawk you make us all laugh. You’ve got to be the only true bear left here and it’s playing out exactly the same way as it always has. You’ll be here another year tops and then either buy, move or give up.

  94. I can’t help thinking that this latest surge is driven by the low-dollar and some smart Alberta money (those that got out quick and perhaps near retirement already?) and a local populations willing to play along. Perhaps also Vancouver’s surge is pushing some money this way (also driven by the same factors). The dollar seems to have stabilized and the people leaving Alberta will be poorer and more desperate as time passes…so both these factors may be transient. Not saying crash or correction as I think I capitulated about a year ago when I agreed that Victoria had underperformed for long enough to reduce those risks…but the surge is of limited duration.

  95. Hawk, I am no fan of the pump but there is presented here. We are talking 7 years of crying wolf. With the market just starting to rev up it gives even less weight to the calls for a crash…

  96. DavidL, good to hear from you. Hope the renos are going well.

    We all love you Jack, as long as you keep the drapes pulled while frying your bacon.

  97. Is it just a coincidence that when Info disappeared, Hawk suddenly appeared?
    Sure are a lot of similarities, just the ascii charts are missing.

  98. Another sign of a top when the bulls get hyper-sensitive to any market top talk. Can the bulls honestly say with a straight face this is normal buying behavior the last while ? It is unprecedented in Victoria history and it will not end well.

    All this Victoria is just being “discovered” is media and realtor bullshit because we got great weather etc. It’s been no secret, it’s just another hot market for people to dump money into.

    China just got their credit downgraded to negative, and a major US oil and gas CEO kills himself due to caught rigging the O&G markets. Now we have rumors Canadian banks oil debt will be rivaling the US banks in the multiple of billions. Patience grasshopper.

    BTW the bubble did pop in 2008 but Harper bailed out the banks on to taxpayers to save his political ass. How soon they forget.

    CMHC bubble is 100% made in Canada

    “It’s a mortgage slush fund that distorts the market. It allows banks to lend recklessly without consequences and pushes up the price of housing for everyone. It rewards those willing to speculate with leverage and discriminates against those who are prudent. ”

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=734ff73e-1f8c-4bfd-b3de-5e468913e8be

  99. The funny thing is, Hawk sounds just like the countless other people on the blog over the years who insisted until their fingers could no longer type the words anymore that Victoria was in a bubble, that the bubble was about to pop, and that renters would soon inherit the earth.

  100. I see that Marko is now directly advertising on HHV. And the mortgage pro guy’s ad says “Ask me about my HHV special.”

    Remember when the HHV special was a Just Jack bitter-renter diatribe that included the line “This is what happens when you want to be the first person to fry bacon in the nude in a new home”?

  101. Sweethome,

    I’m sure they are students moving out, that’s what I said a week back. But they could be new homeowners too. Just pointing out that no one is homeless if you adjust your standards a bit as Victoria has never had an over abundance of “quality” rentals. They are always older retro style for the most part but they are livable.

    If you’re looking for a whole house then that again has been a tougher game as $2500 seems to be the going rate these days. If you put yourself out there to property managers and your credit checks are decent you should be able to find something over time. If you got animals then that’s a different story.

    I don’t see rentals going up much more as it’s hitting the ceiling where most renters will pay.

    http://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/5473099473.html

    http://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/5453992466.html

    If your talking condo too then these new rentals at the Hudson are pricey but doable.

    http://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/5472606496.html

    How about right on the ocean at the breakwater for $1600 ?

    http://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/5472374865.html

    I don’t mind swimming upstream as the affordability of most to pay $150K over to live in Fairfield is hitting stupid land where bubbles eventually pop. Been through enough of them to sense it.

    Bulls should be selling like mad dogs but they will hold on too long as greed blurs their picture of reality. Bulls make money, bears make money but pigs get slaughtered as they always say. 😉

  102. Sorry Hawk, the weather here is amazing. Try living in the Netherlands. One week of sun in August was considered a good summer. It is ALWAYS raining and WINDY…. It god damn paradise here and people not from here know it….

  103. I have decided to pull my head out of home renovations and see what’s going on the the HHV world … Leo: as always, I’m so impressed with your awesome graphs and data. I like how your monetization plans are progressing along. 🙂

    @mooselessness
    Congratulations on purchasing your home. My wife and I were similarly able to arrange a private sale from our landlady in 2002. Being able to “try it before you buy it” (learning about the quirks in your house, local traffic issues, neighbours, etc.) is an ideal situation.

    @Marco

    the market reach new levels of insanity

    Yep, looking at my PCS account(s) and the DOM plus selling prices (most above asking), it feels like the spring of 2005 all over again!

    @Michael

    I bet we see more Californians in the coming years escaping their droughts and president Trump.

    Too funny … and maybe true!

  104. Cheer up Hawk. It’s actually only rained 69 out of the last 100 days (at Victoria Airport). Less days down at the south end of the Saanich Peninsula where most of us live. It has been a wetter than normal year. Normal would be about 59 days over the hundred days ending March 1 (56 down in Fairfield and South Oak Bay).

  105. @Hawk – Of course there will be a surge in rentals because students are leaving this time of year. These are not quality rentals. I don’t want to live in a basement or be a tenant in a house with other renters in the basement. Virtually all the nice condos in quiet steel and concrete buildings have turned into vacation rentals, leaving the long-term renters scraping the bottom of the barrel. Two-bedroom rentals are especially hard to find. Whole house rentals in desirable, central areas are also very expensive, even relative to purchase prices (might change if prices go up another 10%).

    I used to be generally bearish myself, which is why I was very choosy and am now “homeless” (i.e. need to move but can’t find anything to buy). Your arguments are really swimming upstream with what’s going on right now. Both the rental and ownership market are bad for someone looking to get in. This is from someone currently spending over 10 hours a week looking in both markets.

  106. I bet the Californians say “WTF ? I’m losing massive amounts $$ on any difference in the loonie and might as well buy at home where it’s warm and doesn’t rain 90 out of the last 100 days.”

    Trump will blow up soon with his Mafia history coming back to haunt him and KKK endorsements. GOP will gun him outta there.

    What is the psyche of all these bidder war losers ? Were talking hundreds. Must be brutal to get beat down over and over while trying to toss your financial future down the toilet. Eventually they will drink and medicate themselves and sanity will set in, this is a temporary phenom.

  107. I thought this line from the Times Colonist sums up our market…

    A local buyer beat out the competition with an unconditional offer at $152,000 above the asking price. The successful bidder prevailed against buyers from California, Paris, Vancouver and another from Victoria.

    I bet we see more Californians in the coming years escaping their droughts and president Trump.

  108. This notion of commuting to Van in under an hour is Extremely crazy! I know of many people who telecommute shure but you are not going from your Oak Bay home to your downtown Van office in under 3 hours min….

    I do this trip in just over 1.5 hours one-way from my house. Fifteen min from my house to float plane (early morning), check in 25 minutes ahead of time, 35 minute flight – total time to land 1.15 hours – taxi or walk to office — 25 minutes walk for me. Not a super easy or cheap regular commute and subject to weather restrictions, but doable on a once/week or irregular basis for someone who wants their kids to grow up in Victoria and have a really nice home for way less than Kitsilano. I would definitely do this if those were my choices and do I see other same day return folks on these flights – mostly government types.

  109. A slew of new rentals on Craigslist, well over 100 1 & 2 bedrooms in just last 2 days. I think the landlords will be feeling some pain this spring, hope they got some cash in reserves as the youth begin their exodus from Victoria as in past booms.

  110. Nope, I’m a baby bull and reengineering life. I have also purchased….
    This notion of commuting to Van in under an hour is Extremely crazy! I know of many people who telecommute shure but you are not going from your Oak Bay home to your downtown Van office in under 3 hours min….

  111. dasmo is a bear ! They’re all caving in one by one as the temptation for the easiest profit you will ever see is just too much. Welcome to the dark side. Next thing VicVV will be dumping. 😉

  112. Congrats Mooseless! I also just sold my house to my Tenants for a deal. No Realtor fees, no hassle, no selling to someone who will carve it up into a revenue property. They love and respect the house which also means a lot. My son was born in it! It’s great for them. When else could you test drive your house for six months first? Will update on my purchase once it solidifies 🙂

  113. I’m still curious about the private airport near Cadboro Bay. Can someone fill me in? Do members get to land their STOL aircraft on the fairways at Uplands Golf Course

  114. Mooseless – congrats; Swan lake is very nice; we’re not far away , just uphill in Cedar Hill. Although you may be mooseless, your place will not be deerless!

  115. Congrats Mooselessness. A nice looking place with some character and a good size floor plan for that era.

  116. Commuting to Vancouver.. I can’t think of much worse.

    Likely not a daily commute. Probably people who can work remotely most of the week. With the float plane or helijet downtown to downtown it is not bad. I’d prefer it to commuting to and from Langford on a daily basis.

    Congratulations on the house purchase Mooselessness!

  117. Also pretty big jump in condo median this month.

    That’s a crazy jump. I’ve never seen the condo median move 10.9% in a month. I guess Marko did mention that condo inventory had really tightened. He must not mind as he has a bunch of rental condos.

  118. Mosslessless nice work! What part of saanich east?

    Ha, not mossless yet, but we’re working on it. We’re in the Swan Lake area. A 1947 three-bedroom in the area went for 650K a few weeks ago.

  119. @Introvert – German

    Coincidentally, my first language is German too. But I can’t speak it anymore, which is sad.

  120. @marko I think so too. At some point soon it has to level out but I think we’ve got another month or two of improvements coming.
    Could you post the residential inventory please? Annoying that the VREB doesn’t publish it despite using it in their chart.

    Also pretty big jump in condo median this month.

    @Introvert – German

  121. I think in March we’ll possibly see the market reach new levels of insanity. Currently I have clients looking in East Sooke and another set of clients looking at older condos (okay with restrictions) and I am getting back on the majority of showing requests “sorry, accepted offer,” which for East Sooke and older bylaw restricted condos has been very rare in the past.

  122. … our house has been egged 3 times in the ~3 years since we bought it. I always assumed it was Introvert.

    Although I do know precisely where you live, I am not the culprit.

    My house has only been egged once in the seven years I’ve lived in it, and that was on Halloween.

    Just a friendly tip from one ESL to another.

    Neat. What’s your first language, Leo?

  123. Mosslessless nice work! Congrats on the smart move. What part of saanich east? Usually that area houses are well over 750k for 50 year old houses on 8k lots.

  124. You should ask a few bankruptcy lawyers and credit counselors if they want to advertise. I’m sure it will pay off in time.

    I dunno given the discussion here I think the red barn is a prime candidate.

  125. Mike, the median price in Calgary was flat, that was average price you were quoting which is all over the map. I would expect the 6 month prices ( and moving forward) to decline as the EI claims run out. Nexen just laid off another 120 today.

    Congrats moose, as long as you can easily afford it and got a deal then booyah!

    LeoS, sorry that was me. 😉 You should ask a few bankruptcy lawyers and credit counselors if they want to advertise. I’m sure it will pay off in time.

  126. Speaking of the unique joys of homeownership, our house has been egged 3 times in the ~3 years since we bought it. I always assumed it was Introvert….

  127. Congratulations, mooselessness. I haven’t been on this site for long, so don’t know your journey, but if you were a bear, it sounds like someone offered you a deal too good to refuse. I wish I had your luck. I certainly waited too long and don’t think I am going to get out of the bad housing situation I am in without some serious pain.

  128. Ooh congrats mooselessness. Glad you got a deal. Super funny line about the cat! We are also currently trying buy-house-from-the-owner negotiations but our landlord says they have a realtor friend so commissions are always free for them anyway – darn! Might settle on 5k less than appraisal – perhaps still a deal in this market but hard to tell.

  129. This is an example of the wild west market out there, but I am also wondering if anyone knows it there is a backstory. 1680 Earle St. in Fairfield seemed underpriced when it hit the market September 2015. We hesitated looking at it for a day or so because we thought there must be something wrong with it or else it would go for much more than asking, but it sold immediately for $650K, which is around what I recall the asking price was. I never got a chance to see it.

    Last week it was listed for $759K and sold for $820K. Maybe there is a new roof and possibly kitchen, but no major overhaul. It seems like it didn’t go for fair market value in September and has also been carried up with the rising prices in “hot” areas. I guess I’m just irritated that someone pocketed $170K in 6 months and wondering if I really had a chance at it in September, or did an insider snap it up.

  130. Congrats mooselessness. Sounds like a good deal given how new your place is. .

    I’ll need the mental room to start caring about repainting, gutter cleaning, and moss.

    Haha. Menial labour, just one of the unique joys of homeownership.

  131. Add me to the list of HHV bear capitulators! Our house purchase in Saanich closed yesterday.

    After selling our Sooke house in 2011, we rented for five years in Victoria. Our hope was that prices would decline and we could take the time to get to know the neighbourhoods and find somewhere we really liked.

    We rented a house steps from my kid’s school, but it was a bit worn, so we moved when we lucked into a gorgeous and underpriced arts and crafts home. The property management company listed the house without photos, and we rushed to submit an application before the secret was out. The ad said no pets, and my six year old’s very first words to the owners during the showing were “we have a cat and she sheds EVERYWHERE.” They took us anyway.

    The owners of the new place planned to return in five years, but changed their minds and told us they wanted to sell when our one year lease ended. Still expecting house prices to drop, we proposed a rent bump and a two year lease, which they accepted in the hopes that house prices would rise.

    That second lease was due to end this summer. Ms. Mooselessness was tired of renting, so we started to look at buying in Lake Hill or Cordova Bay and found, as you know, that the purchase and rental markets were both very tight.

    The owners of our rental approached us again over the holidays, this time suggesting a private sale to save on realtor’s fees. We proposed what we could afford — a figure well under the BC Assessment value.

    And they said yes.

    The house is eerily close to what JustJack posted as being the typical Saanich East house: 2,200 square feet finished, 7,300 square feet lot, $685,000. Except instead of being the usual 60 years old, our house is only 13 years old.

    It feels like we found a good value — a lucky escape from this hot market, where even quality rentals are hard to find.

    I’ve been reading HHV every day for about seven years. It’s been strange to realize how much of my daily thoughts have focused on real estate. I’ll still read HHV, but hopefully I can let go of some of that preoccupation. I’ll need the mental room to start caring about repainting, gutter cleaning, and moss.

    Thanks to everyone who offered advice and insight over the years.

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